Before machines changed the pace of life forever

Cuckfield Museum’s new ‘Horsepower’ exhibition looks back at a time when horses played an essential part in every area of life before mechanisation changed everything.  We show the effects of the coaching trade rapidly disappearing after the coming of the railway, except for wealthy sporting gentlemen re-enacting ‘the good old days’ in the late 19th century, and the gradual introduction of motor traffic.

Images from the museum’s collection illustrate Cuckfield’s long-ago quiet roads, horses hard at work for local tradesmen and how local farmers still used highly-prized animals well into the 20th century.

There’s also a glimpse into the old stables at the Talbot pub which, until renovation work started in 2014, contained a last link to Cuckfield’s horse-drawn era – although the popular ‘Hayloft’ venue still has a clue in the name!

Band of Hope outing 1919
Advertisement, circa 1880
Horse traffic in the High Street, late 19th century

If you are interested in this or any other Cuckfield topics, why not visit us in the museum.